By Mackenzie Hintz
Picture Credits: My New Roots
There’s a buzz around the topic of Kombucha, a bubbly fermented tea beverage loaded with probiotics that promotes a healthy gut and immune system. Different flavors of Kombucha can be found in any grocery store, on tap at restaurants, throughout the globe, and even Kombucha festivals.
What is its orgin?
Although Kombucha is rising in popularity today, it has been a sacred drink for thousands of years. The origin of Kombucha dates back to the Tsin Dynasty and was thought of as the “Tea of Immortality”. The name would later morph into Kombucha, when a Korean physician named Kombu treated the Japanese Emperor Inyko with his special fermented tea blend taking on the name ‘Kombu’ and ‘Cha’ meaning tea. Today Kombucha is used all over the world taking on it’s own unique culture.
What’s in it?
Kombucha is brewed using tea and sugar through a fermentation process that requires a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (this is called the Scoby and looks a bit like a floating mushroom). Tea is an essential ingredient as it is responsible for the flavor of the drink. The most popular tea used when brewing Kombucha is organic black tea but other teas like organic oolong, green, and flavored will work just as well.
Kombucha is also a rather easy and healthy drink to make at home and can be fun to experiment with different ingredients like different types of teas, fruit, juice, herbs and even hops used for beer. Follow these steps below for brewing your own strawberry Kombucha at home.
Tools you will need:
1 Gallon glass jar
1 Gallon of purified water
1 Cup organic white sugar
8-10 bags of Build a Blend organic green tea
OR tea flavor of your choice
1 Scoby (Store bought or cultivate your own!)
2 Cups Kombucha starter tea (from your last batch or store bought)
Second Fermentation: (Optional)
3 Cups strawberry juice (or juice of your choice)
2 Cups fresh or dried strawberry (or fruit of your choice)
- Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add in sugar and tea. Stir well and allow to steep with the lid off. The water should cool to room temperature.
- Once the water has completely cooled, transfer it to your clean gallon jar. Stir in the Kombucha starter tea. Then use the wooden spoon to add in the scoby.
- Cover the jug with the cheesecloth and secure with the rubber band. Store in a slight warm, dry spot. Temperatures too cold can slow down fermentation time.
- Kombucha takes time, so be patient. Let sit for about 2 weeks. You can begin to taste test after 7 days and then every few days until desired taste. The less fermentation time, the sweeter the Kombucha will be.
- The Kombucha will begin to turn cloudy and fizzy, this means the scoby is activating.
- When ready to bottle, make sure to remove the scoby and have have clean hands and tools.
- Bottle the Kombucha either with a funnel or transferring from large brewing jar to small container with spout. Seal bottles and store in fridge.
- Next is the second fermentation process which is optional but this is where you can really customize the Kombucha to your liking, the possibilities are endless.
If you want to carry out the second fermentation, divide the juice or fruit among the bottles first, then add the brewed Kombucha on top. Seal the bottles and let at room temperature for 2-3 days until it is carbonated to your liking, then store in the fridge.
Very important: remember to release the pressure in the bottles every day that they sit at room temperature – this is called burping – open the lid briefly to let any excess gas out, which will prevent an explosion.
- Serve Kombucha with fresh fruit or herb garnish and enjoy this healthy tea drink!